Walter Hoving Home in Pasadena, CA

Overall Rating

(3.3 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
127 South El Molino Avenue
Pasadena CA 91101

Walter Hoving Home Philosophy

Walter Hoving Home California is a faith-based substance abuse treatment center for chemically dependent women pursuing long-term recovery through the word of Christ. During the 12-month residential program, individuals will progress through four stages, each of which provides clients with new privileges and responsibilities such as resident training and staff assistance. At Walter Hoving Home, residents are given the opportunity to apply for a driver’s license, attend vocational, G.E.D., and computer classes, and prepare for reentry into the community.

Areas of Specialization

  • Residential Treatment
    Residential treatment programs provide housing (food and meals) in addition to treatment for substance abuse. Some facilities offer only short-term residential treatment, some offer only long-term treatment and others offer both, ranging from a few days to many months, based on patient needs.

  • 12-Step
    The term “12 Step Program” describes a way to recover from addiction that is based on the model developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers base their treatment on 12 steps – the first three of which are situational, the next four addressing the practical issues created by the addiction, followed by two steps focused on making amends for hurting others. Steps 10 and 11 involve a deeper examination of the previous steps and the final step is focused on helping others avoid and recover from addiction.

Facility Highlights

Healing for Damaged Emotions

The Curing Power of Love

Handling Conflicts

Meet the Staff

John and Elsie Benton


Photo of John and Elsie Benton

John and Elsie Benton, lovingly known as Mom and Dad to the Ladies, founded the New York Home in 1967. Under their leadership, the Walter Hoving Home expanded to the West Coast in 1984, with the opening of a center in Pasadena, California. A third Home was opened in Las Vegas in 2006. For more than 46 years the Bentons have spent many nights on the streets of New York City and Los Angeles reaching out to prostitutes and drug addicts. To each desperate young woman they have extended an invitation to come home to a place of hope and healing. It is an invitation that has led to dramatically changed lives and hope-filled futures for hundreds of women. 360 Guide

Review by Contributors


The Walter Hoving Home is a faith-based residential treatment facility for adult women struggling with drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, and other life-controlling conditions. There are four discipleships across the country — Garrison, N.Y.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Oxford, N.J.; and Pasadena, Calif. The Pasadena facility has been serving vulnerable women since 1984, with many residents coming directly from prison or the streets, and is among 53.3 percent of private, nonprofit substance abuse treatment facilities in the state.


A faith-based program, the Walter Hoving Home believes that once a woman enters the program, she becomes part of the body of Christ. This, among other reasons, is why the center implores its clients to treat each other with respect and dignity throughout treatment. In California, the facility is among the 54.4 percent of facilities to offer specialized programming for women.

For the first month, clients are assigned a “big sister” mentor while they and the counselors determine whether the six-month or 12-month program is more appropriate. Both programs are structured around the facility’s learning curriculum, which addresses conflict resolution, mental illness, and goal setting. In addition, residents may attend worship services, Bible study classes, and spiritual counseling sessions.

Residents progress at their own pace but, by month seven, many begin taking computer classes, apply for a driver’s license, and attend G.E.D. classes, if applicable. Within the state, the Walter Hoving Home is among 70.1 percent of substance abuse treatment facilities that provide mentoring/peer support.

The center also offers a Completer’s Program that allows clients to continue living in the home while they obtain employment elsewhere.


While there is limited information regarding their specific credentials available on the facility's website, many employees of the Pasadena facility also are former residents of the program.


The Walter Hoving Home facility in Pasadena formerly was the Mira Monte Hotel, located close to the famous Pasadena Playhouse. A photo on the website depicts a large, bright, Spanish-style residence surrounded by trees and shrubbery. Women live in a communal environment and receive three home-cooked meals each day.

Accommodations are simple, and bedrooms come furnished with bunk beds and dressers. Residents have access to a computer room, classroom, chapel, and large dining hall.


The two alumni who submitted reviews of the Walter Hoving Home in Pasadena at the time of this writing expressed negative views. One claimed that the facility was not a rehab because “There are no doctors, no therapist, no classes other than bible classes” and complained about rude staff members and various inequities and waste. The other reviewer reported being ejected from the facility when she shared she was gay after “doing the program for 15 months and being a completer for 3 months,” writing: “True Christians don't throw out someone they claim as family. This place did alot of hurt to me.”

In contrast, alumni reviewers from secondary sources expressed positive opinions to date: 4.2 out of five stars based on 18 reviews on Google; 4.9 stars based on 82 reviews on the facility’s Facebook page, which the organization can manage; and 3.5 stars based on eight reviews on Yelp. [1] [2] [3]

Many reviewers expressed gratitude for the comprehensive treatment and the kind, loving staff, which helped transform their lives, such as Lori: “This is more than a place to go recover, it is life changing! I will always hold the Walter Hoving Home close to my heart. I will never forget the love shown to me and the friends I met there.” Negative comments concerned rude staff members, lack of privacy, and a lack of therapies.


The sole loved one polled by to date submitted highly positive opinions. They awarded perfect five stars to a range of evaluated metrics, including addiction treatment, family programs, holistic offerings, staff experience and training, and staff support. This anonymous reviewer assigned favorable four out of five stars to other variables, such as counseling options, facility cleanliness and upkeep, family involvement, leadership, and mental health treatment. In all, this reviewer wanted to know that their loved one benefited from treatment at the facility, stopped abusing, and gained confidence.


Each resident must pay a $500 nonrefundable entrance fee and fundraise an additional $500 per month. Because the Walter Hoving Home pays all expenses, clients who receive social security or disability payments are required to give 90 percent of their income to the facility.


In 2017, John Benton, co-founder of Walter Hoving Home, died at 84. As Assemblies of God ministers, John Benton and his wife Elsie Benton, visited with women on the streets of New York City and Los Angeles for nearly 50 years, offering outreach to women involved with drug abuse, alcohol addiction, and prostitution. In 1984, the Bentons expanded their ministry to California, opening the Walter Hoving Home in Pasadena.

[1] GoogleReviews



Published on December 2018

User Reviews

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Walter Hoving Home has been in my family since the 1960s. My grandfather was a board member, my sister went, and I did too. I got kicked out for being gay when they knew I had no one or no where to go in Cali since I'm from Florida after doing the program for 15 months and being a completer for 3 months. I was part of the "family" until I came out as always being gay. Nobody from that home who claimed to love me has checked up on me and see how I was after I got kicked out. They do not care. My father paid $500 a month for rent, I'm pretty cobfodent that's the only reason I was allowed to stay for so long. True Christians don't throw out someone they claim as family. This place did alot of hurt to me.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
This place is NOT rehab. This is a home for women that are broken, yes....but it is all day every day bible camp. There are no doctors, no therapist, no classes other than bible classes. The ladies with seniority run the show and are rude and gossipy. The staff are ladies who completed t\e program and are snobs. Daily schedule.... We woke up, cleaned, group prayer, group devotions, sing, pray, breakfast, "school" which is 7 plus hours of reading the bible, doing a book report on the bible, or whatever busy written work on the bible they had you do, lunch, more bible reading, dinner, more bible reading, snack,group pray, group devotional time and bed time every day. We had to pray before we did anything and after. There was a session for anger management, but it was bible based and just a joke. No one did their packages and it was more of a gossip session for the ladies. On Sundays we went to church, then at night a pastor would come and speak. on Wednesdays we also had a pastor come speak. The "Blessingdales" boutique in the basement is not being ran properly. Ladies go down there and take what they want and hide stuff for when they go back down. Amazing clothes that are appropriate and nothing wrong with them were being put outside for the trash to pick up. There were brand new jeans worth $300 in the trash!!!! This is what they do with DONATIONS. The staff are rude, stuck up and yes, make good with the girls who's support is always paid as they once were residence. OH the $500 support...., you can "Fun raise" IF you are picked to go out and do so. With out monthly support being paid, you can't have visitors, leave to Target to buy incidentals if need be, nothing. To me this is NOT rehab. They are grooming ladies to work for them or in the ministry. That's fine, but don't say you are a rehab when in fact it is not equipped as such.

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  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Christian program

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